I am often asked the question ‘What do you do?’
When I tell people that I am an Ayurvedic practitioner, a very common response is ‘An Ayur-What???’
I also realize that each of you know me, in various ways. Some come to me for regular Massage. Some of you have been Yoga students for the last 30 years, and still others have sought me out for Ayurvedic workshops, trainings, consultations and treatments.
And, because so many people still don’t really understand what Ayurveda is or what it means to be an Ayurvedic Practitioner, I want to share a little, in case you are curious and want to experience more.
Ayurveda – (Ayus- life or longevity/Veda-knowledge or wisdom) is exactly what the word breaks down as – the ‘knowledge of life’ or the ‘wisdom of longevity’.
How do we live a long, healthy, vital life? How do we not just prolong life, but how do we thrive? How do we live in balance and accord with nature and within ourselves? These are the fundamental questions we seek to address in Ayurveda.
Ayurveda is the oldest known system of integrative holistic medicine. It predates Chinese and Tibetan medicine and is known to be the root of both. It is also known to have influenced the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Greece and Rome and the beginnings of Western Medicine. Ayurveda is a science based on empirical evidence, but it is more than just a science. Ayurveda is a mystical science that looks deeply into our connection (or lack of connection) with the elemental nature of our existence. Ayurveda understands that at the deepest root of all disease is the forgetting of our own true nature which is Sat-Chit-Ananda (pure consciousness, knowledge and bliss). Ayurveda also recognizes that at the most basic level – poor digestion, eating too much or too little, eating out of season, lack of sleep and irregular, exhaustive routines are all examples of Prajnaparadha (Crimes against our own wisdom), which further propel us into disease.
A much simpler way to say it is that when we don’t truly listen to and trust our own heart and inner knowing, we create dis-ease within.
As an Ayurvedic Practitioner, I incorporate many facets of wellness and balance into my practice. This may include (and is not limited to) nutrition, seasonal eating, herbs, exercise, meditation, pranayama and mantra. Treatments may range from traditional Abhyanga (ayurvedic oil massage) to Shirodhara (oil treatment for the head and nervous system) to Svedana (Compresses and Steams).
When evaluating the appropriate course of action for an individual, I do a thorough intake of history, symptoms, daily routines, facial diagnostics, pulse and tongue readings and (when and if people are interested) I use Jyotish (Vedic Astrology) to look deeper into some of the patterns and causative factors of dis-ease.
In order to be recognized as an Ayurvedic Practitioner the length of study is normally up to 4 years, including practicum and clinic. My studies span over 30 years (and, yes, I continue to learn and grow in my practice all the time). This includes 12 years of training with Maya Tiwari, founder of Wise Earth School of Ayurveda, 3 years with California College of Ayurveda, 3 months of study in India with Dr Krishnamurti and Dr Nedungadi, 10 years of continued study (primarily with Dennis Harness) in Jyotish and ongoing workshops and trainings with Dr Frawley, Dr Svoboda, Dr Lad and David Crow. I have created and taught thousands of workshops and teacher trainings all over the country for private studios, conferences and schools and I was hand-picked to be 1 of 4 original Master teachers for the Wise Earth School back in 2006. My private practice began over 25 years ago and the original reason I got licensed as a massage therapist was so I could continue with hands on Ayurvedic treatments. (at the time, there was no massage licensing, let alone anyone knowing what to do with us Ayurvedic practitioners, but I knew it was coming).
In other words ~ this is not a new phase or fad, but a lifelong passion and study and whether you are aware of it or not, it is the foundation of everything I do – from the way I set up a room (Vastu), to the timing of certain treatments or cleanses, to how I make my oils (Seasonal), to the way I apply pressure in a massage (Marma and Sattvic touch).
And while I watch fads come and go (new diets, the new latest fitness craze, the new improved ways to massage- ‘less pressure is more’) …. I continue to sit, firmly established (the real meaning of Asana) in my roots of Ayurveda – because it is time tested; it is more often than not, the conclusion that innovative healers and scientists come to AND I have 30 years of trial and error, personal experience, to guide me.
So ~ if this peaks your interest, contact me for a consultation or treatment.